The approval rate of H-1B declined from 93% in 2017 to 85% in 2018.
There was a sharp 10% decline in the approval of H-1B visas by the US in the fiscal year 2017-18 which experts attributed to the “aggressive” policies of the Trump administration to clamp down on the use of the work visa program, popular among highly-skilled Indian IT professionals. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved 335,000 H-1B visas, which included both new and renewable, in FY18. This was 10% less from 373,400 in the previous fiscal year 2016-17, according to the USCIS’s annual statistical report.
The approval rate of H-1B declined from 93% in 2017 to 85% in 2018. “This administration has aggressively pursued strategies to clamp down on use of the H-1B programme, and these efforts are now showing in the data,” Migration Policy Institute analyst Sarah Pierce was quoted as saying by The Mercury News.
The daily said for the first six months of this fiscal, the overall H-1B approval rate for new and continuing visas continued to plummet 79% by the end of March, down from 85% last year. The Trump administration has tightened the noose on firms violating H-1B visa rules. President Donald Trump has himself accused many IT companies of abusing the work visas to deny jobs to American workers.
Two years ago, Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American executive order, which seeks to create higher wages and employment rates for US workers and to protect their economic interests by rigorously enforcing and administering our immigration laws. It directed the department of homeland security, in coordination with other agencies, to advance policies to help ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries.
The H-1B visa programme is the main vehicle through which US employers can sponsor skilled foreign workers for admission.
According to the latest statistical annual report, in 2018, the USCIS completed 396,300 H-1B applications against 403,300 in 2017. In 2018, 396,300 H-1B beneficiary petitions were processed, which is 13% more over the five fiscals and 2% less from 2017. In 2018, the USCIS completed 850,000 naturalisation requests, a five-year high and granted 1.1 million green cards.